Apr 19, 2012

Barca -0 , Chelsea - 1

A brilliant counter attacking goal at the very end of the first half is standing strong between Barcelona and the Champions League final in Munich after Chelsea secured a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge tonight. It was kind of a harsh and unlucky night with players wasting gilt edged chances, hitting the post on a couple of occasion and on all other occasion the Chelsea defense standing strong. For Chelsea this would feel like a revnge for the exit at Barca in 2009, but for Barca we still have a chance to go through provided we lift our games at Camp Nou next Tuesday. It was that kind of a day where you see Cesc Fabregas missing two chances, Sanchez another and hitting the bar once and on the very end of the night we struck the post from a Pedro shot. Guardiola srarted with Puyol and Mascherano in the centre of defense with Alves and Adriano playing the full back roles respectively. The rest of the line-up was as expected. Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets fromed the midfield. Sanchez, Messi and Cesc Fabregas formed the attacking trio.

We had a big scare in the third minute when a long kick from Peter Cech put Drogba onside. luckily for us his first touch was really bad. In the 7th minute Drogba did really well to put him through with a great move, butr Puyol was on hand to cut the danger. In the 9th minute Iniesta played a lobbed ball putting Sanchez through on goal, but unluckily Sanchez's brilliant lob struck the bar with Cech well beaten. In the 17th minute we upped the tempo with Messi dancing into the box before cutting the ball back to Iniesta, Iniesta's shot was saved by Cech but the rebound fell pretty well to Cesc who made a mess of that chance. Chelsea was troubling us with every aerial delivery into the box. In the 26th minute Fabregas forced a good save from Cech from a very tight angle. In the 28th minute Sanchez sent in a cross from the right which was met by a good header by Messi in the box, but it was a bit close to Cech. In the 43rd minute Messi robbed a ball off Mikel and set off on a great run, he then played Cesc on but his chip over Cech was cleared off the line by Cole. In the 2nd minute of injury time against the run of play Drogba put Chelsea 1-0 ahead with abrilliant counter after Messi gave the ball away in the midfield. We were pretty unlucky to conceded so late in the first half after dominating the first half like anything.

In the 51st minute Adriano got past two defenders and tried to curl the ball to far corner, but Cech was able to punch it away. In the 57th minute Fabregas lifted a ball over the defense putting Sanchez through but Cole did well to deny him. In the 66th minute Messi danced into the box but Meireiles did well to deflect his shot for a corner. In the 67th minute Guardiola brought in Pedro for Sanchez. In the 70th minute Xavi saw his free kick from just outside the box going high over the bar. In the 78th minute Cesc Fabregas was taken off for Thiago. In the 87th minute Cuenca came in for Xavi. In the 87th minute Puyol header from a Messi free kick just missed the far post with Cech completely beaten. In the dying momet of the game Adriano hit the post and then the rebound fell to Busquest who blasted high infront of an open goal. That explained the night we had.

I know many Barca fans would term this as a lucky victory for Chelsea, but they did really their job well. They lined up with a startegy which ideally was based on Drogba using his physical strength to start an attack. And they did create problem for us. But the goal unfortunately came from a Barca mistake that too from Messi, who gave the ball away in midfield catching entire defense off-guard. It never should have mattered as we created enough chances to go atleast two goals up, but the problem was we never took anyone of that. Now it's going to be a herculean task as we not only have to over turn the score-line at Camp Nou, also have to lift ourselves from this defeat for the Clasico encounter on saturday.

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